Biwakfliegen / Fly-Camping – Paragliding Zugspitze-Königssee (2/2)

I’m soaring at this slope and trying to gain altitude. This means that I´m flying in figures of eights close to the slope, to use the up-drafts best. There is someone standing. Let´s wave hands. Hello While Olli catches the up-drafts … … to get the necessary altitude for crossing the Inn Valley, Ewa has problems. I’m really deep. 1,500 m / 4,500 ft. Mercilessly sounds the persistent beep of her variometer – the signal that it is going down. It´s hard! She has already lost about 300 m / 1,000 ft. I could catch the thermals a bit better than Ewa. So let´s see, what Ewa does. I am going to descend and join her. Olli descends quickly by flying spirals. More than half an hour Ewa has a hard time finding thermals. But then she finds a strong up-draft. Is that nice if you did it! Persistence leads to success today. With every kilometer onwards the weather conditions are getting better. Even the crossing of the Inn Valley is no problem. The landing site on that day is located next to the picturesque village of Söll am Wilden Kaiser. An idyll, that the pilots can enjoy only shortly, because they have not yet reached their destination. Today we had a really nice flight. The west winds have pushed us in the easterly direction. As planned, we have now landed in Söll. However, the hardest part is yet to come. We want to spend the night up on the Kaiser Mountain. Although the two most like emission-free traveling, Now they need a motorized means of transportation. Otherwise, they would not reach their quarters for the night in time. Hitchhiking is gone out of fashion. Almost the only ones who still do it are paragliders – like we are. It is a little easier with a paraglider. People in the Alps know paragilder pilots and like to give them a ride. Today we were lucky again. Thank you! Half an hour later the convenient part of the journey is already over. The last 600 m / 2,000 ft to the Gruttenhütte they must travel on foot. Walking passages are part of a fly-camping trip and can be enjoyed by the pilots. This is beautiful. The sun is low already. I thought that we walk in the sun. When you are flying, this a completely different stress level, you constantly have to concentrate. That here is actually to sail, to relax. Is really good. Despite great motivation … … they should not waste their energy. Otherwise they would miss it tomorrow. Shortly after 9 pm, they reach their destination on 1,600 m / 5,300 ft above sea level. Twelve hours after leaving their camp site at the Achensee. The next morning, they want to take-off for the flight to the Koenigssee. If wind and weather are good enough. Ewa and Olli have decided to spend the night under the open sky. An experience that brings the alpine beauty of the Kaiser mountain range even closer to them. Waking up at such a place – that’s just beautiful. I try to keep my life as stress-free as possible. That´s why I have moved to the mountains. The views and nature … they give tranquility. One can really calm down. That’s why those moments are just beautiful. It’s a bit damp, but we slept well. Now I am looking forward to a good snack. I hope that today there will be good weather conditions. But first they have to do a morning exercise and walk up to the take-off point above the Gruttenhütte. Ewa and Olli lay out their paragliders. Originally paragliders have been developed by mountaineers … … to get back quickly in the valley after a successful ascent. Today flights over 100 km / 50 NMI disctance are not rare. And the Alps are considered to be one of the best and most beautiful flying sites in the world. Carefully Ewa checks the lines. Paragliders are the only aircraft, whose wings must be created during take-off. Olli has observed the weather conditions all morning. He hopes that they will be good enough for today´s long leg to the Koenigssee If you look around … … then you can see that there are a lot of cumulus clouds already. That’s a sign for good thermals. We take-off here on this south-east slope. The sun is shining directly on it, and has heated it up well already. The wind that we feel up here is an evidence for that. And when you look down on those bushes, then you can see that they move easily. This proofs that the wind covers a bigger area. These are all signs for good thermals. Additionally, beautiful clouds are emerging here – It all looks like very, very good weather conditions. Even if the weather conditions appear to be almost perfect, the pilots have to take care of the weather conditions constantly during the flight. Only those who know the weather and use the winds, can stay up in the air and fly long distances. Currently I am looking for thermals. It’s a little tough. I have just taken-off, and am now trying to find an up-draft to carry me over the Wilder Kaiser mountain. They don´t have to wait long until the elevator goes up. After a few minutes, the massive Kaiser mountain range lies beneath them. Olli is here, too. Now let’s make it to Berchtesgaden. Together it is always easier. Today it´s the longest leg of the journey. They know: the route is not easy. Especially at the Fellhorn mountain they need good thermals to fly nonstop to their destination. I’ve lost the thermals. The fears have come true. I have to fly against the wind. Perhaps there are some thermals. I have to fly pretty close to the slope because the up-drafts are very narrow. Now it´s a little bit better. Now one has to be patient. You have to fight for every meter of altitude. Olli could only watch as Ewa lost altitude. When you’re back on top, it’s so relaxing. But when you arrive at ridge level … … and have to fly against the valley wind … and you are on the leeward side … … then it’s no fun! Then you have to grit your teeth, and wait until things are getting better. The struggle has been successful. Ewa for Oliver. You did a great fight. I did not think that you get out there again. Me, yes 😉 Finally, you´re a good pilot! Then, right in front of them: The Koenigssee. In three days they did it. They flew nearly 200 km / 100 NMI from the Zugspitze to the Koenigssee. They can be proud, although numbers and times are just side notes on this trip. Their final destination had to be something very special, Ewa and Oliver had already agreed when the idea was born. The Koenigssee … … is one of the most famous alpine landscapes in Germany. I have something to drink for you! Ewa has landed the first. Thank you. Olli enjoys the last minutes of today’s flight. Then, close to the Jenner – the Mountain located next to Berchtesgaden – the adventure of the two paragliding pilots comes to the end. It was a beautiful flight today – especially the arrival at the Koenigssee with the Watzmann mountain below us, then the Koenigssee with the turquoise waters – gorgeous! What is also nice: until now we have only flown against each other in competitions. But in the last three days we have flown together as a team for the first time. It worked great! To celebrate the success of the fly-camping … … the two look for a nice spot up on a mountain. That’s what we miss in competition flying: the coziness, the sight-seeing, sometimes run up somewhere, sometimes sleep outside. This is missing in competitions, that’s stressful. And this was now just pure enjoyment. By the fly-camping the two have literally become a new look at their sport. I’ve seen much of the world, but I have to say, in summer I like most flying in the Alps. In winter, it is clear that you are flying in the warm countries, but in summer it is best here. The both celebrate the completion of their trip. Above the Koenigssee they have once again found a 5-star place for a picnic – one of many surprises that a fly-camping trip in the Alps offers.

7 thoughts on “Biwakfliegen / Fly-Camping – Paragliding Zugspitze-Königssee (2/2)

  1. Finde solche Videos wunderschön, man fliegt in Gedanken wie mit und erlebt das alles…. könnte mir solches Stundenlang ansehen. "Glücklicher Ikarus, mit dem Gleitschirm über die Alpen" war auch einer dieser tollen Videos

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